Ink and Feathers Comics will be attending one (and quite possible the only for this year) convention in Orland Park on March 4, 2017. It called CONival and will be taking place in Orland Park, IL. I bring this up as I am a little excited about going. The excitement is due to a few reasons. Firstly, I have not attended a convention for a number of years. Reason is mostly due to money. I’m a struggling artist who lives in his car and feeds his kitty ketchup packs that I “borrow” from the local McDonalds. No, that not true but it’s expensive to do conventions. You have to travel to where you’re going, pay for fuel not only for the car but yourself as well. What happens if you find that obscure item that you desperately need to complete your Pog collection? Well, there goes your profits (if you sell anything). All $2.00. What about the cost to produce your merchandise. That’s an expense as well. People are coming to purchase something from you, right? You can’t very well go, set up a table and only have yourself, the clothes on your back, and a writing utensil. That would be weird. This is not to say I have not seen some people do this in the past. But not only can it be weird, it can come across as awkward.
“Hi. I’m Anthony. Can I sign a body part for you? Oh, that’s a good body part. Rock on! Once I do you know that body part will be worth some money. Maybe. Ok, you might be worth enough to be traded for a cup of free coffee but nothing more. Oh, and for my signature, is it ok that I charge you $50. Sweet! Thanks for coming out!” See. Awkward AND weird.
Second on the list for not attending is no new products. That was until this past November that Tears of the Prophets was finally put in a published form that people can purchase. Which is swell as its been drawn for almost A DECADE. Plans change, things get in the way, and life happens. It just happens. Nothing I can do about it as I can only face each day one 24 hour period at a time. Sucks to be a linear being and only be aware of existence via linear time. I never said I was perfect.
Last, but certain not least, I get to interact with other like-minded mortals. SWEET! I can schmooze, flaunt, and brag about why I think I cool (I’m not). I get to breathe different air (smug filled city air) and give people who walk by a thumbs up for being so swell as to make an appearance at this little shindig. YAY!
Folks, it going to be a fun time and it’s FREE! That should make all you liberals out there extremely happy! I should know. I am one.
Come on by, get your face painted, get those nicely washed hands read by groovy palm readers, pick an artist’s brain about where they get their ideas, bug a merchant for their brilliantly crafted wares, and find that missing Alf pog that completes your collection. Trust me, it will be worth it. Mainly because I will be there breathing smog filled air with like-minded individuals. Don’t judge me, least ye be judged yourself!
PS. I don’t get out much these days….
See everyone Saturday, March 4th, 2017 from 10am til 5pm!
Be There & Be Square!
Orland Park Civic Center
14750 S Ravinia Ave
Orland Park, IL 60462
A few months back (September 2016), I stopped going to my local comic book store. It was by choice but more out of necessity. My car of 14 years was on it last legs and Julie and I needed to invest in a new one. So, in order to save up, I stopped buying my current titles. That didn’t mean that I stopped reading. It just meant I stop buying. For a little while. Car are expensive! I needed the extra funds to go towards the down payment. If I had been younger, I would have moped and groaned that I couldn’t get my fix of what was going on in my hero’s worlds. However, these days since I am older and theoretically more sophisticated, I knew that I would eventually get back over to Acme (my local store here in the Bloomington/Normal area) and finish completing my collections. I gave it no mind. Let’s jump ahead a few months now…
Two of my closest friends decided to come down and visit us before Christmas. As I was working until early evening, they decided to come down early and visit my local comic book “watering” hole. Upon getting off work and meeting with them later, they informed me that Acme was no longer in business but had been taken over by a company that has a big market in the comic book stores up north in the Chicago area, Graham Crackers. My friend Andy complained that instead of spending hundreds of dollars, he e\was only able to spend $50. A huge downgrade for him. I was shocked! Not at the spending of $50 (or hundreds for that matter) but at the change in the store’s ownership. When did this happen? I had no idea that from the time I took a comic hiatus till Christmas my comic book store world had changed! I remember raising one eyebrow at this news (much like Spock from Star Trek) and thinking I should get over there and check out the changes. The boys (what I affectionately call my two closest friends) commented that all the cool action figures were gone and the merchandise had been greatly reduced. All during dinner, in the back of my mind, I thought I needed to get over there. Fast forward to January 9th, 2017…
I had a Monday off and Julie and I decided to try to go check out the newly acquired comic book store. No dice. They did not open on Monday. My thinking is that the owner must be related to Garfield. They must hate Mondays. We did put our greasy paws and noses up against the store windows to look inside the dark and unoccupied store. It looked like the layout had been changed. There was now a wood floor. That was pretty much all I noticed…
On a Saturday, January 14th, 2017, Julie and I finally made it over to our local comic book store. We first had lunch at the Jimmy Johns (some swell veg sandwiches) before walking half a block over to the newly changed store. I say newly as it is was still new to me even though the ownership could have changed the day after my last visit in September. As this point I will never know or care. We walked in and I felt like I was walking into a wannabe comic book store. Gone were the independents. Gone were the all the cool action figures and unique t-shirts. Gone were comic book companies like Dark Horse, Dynamite, BOOM. Gone were the endless books of back issues going back to the Silver Age of Comics. Gone was the Jim, the store owner who use to have to endure listening to fans ask him stupid questions about his thoughts on the latest movie adaptation or the latest run of some new comic book story line. And gone was my happiness. I can never walk into this store again and find my missing issue(s) of The Shadow. I will never again be able to walk into this store and find a rare hidden gem of something unique! The only comics this store now carried are from DC or Marvel only! BORING! My local comic book has died.
I will no longer be supporting the local economy. All my comic funds will be diverted out of town in either Peoria IL, somewhere up north or online. Graham Crackers. You suck.
Frank Cammuso’s Max Hamm is nothing short of a great series. Currently available in four volumes or as a compilation, I can’t stress how much fun these stories are. On a chance encounter of a Chicago Comicon several years back, I picked these up from Mr. Cammuso based solely on the cover. Look at the cover to the right. Doesn’t that beg to be picked up?
I went back to our table and set them aside to read at a later time. One of my buddies happened to pick up my copies and began to peruse my newly purchased items. I started to hear an occasional chuckle and then laughter. It seems my chance encounter yielded good results! I asked my buddy what he thought of them and clearly stated, “Read these books. Now!” Such a forceful demand required me to take my mind off of monitoring the table to view the first volume. My command to anyone reading this is to get these books and read them. Now!
A combination of the retelling of the old nursery rhymes and comic book art done a tongue and cheek way pulls you into tales of Detective Max Hamm’s world in Storybookland. Think of it as Sam Spade solving murder mysteries with a giggle. The material is clearly designed for a young audience but appeals to fans of the 1930’s mystery genre as well as a common observer. I highly recommend these works to one and all!
The first volume, The Big Sleep, is an introduction to Max Hamm and the characters that populate this world. It begins with a client, Bo Peep, hiring Hamm and his partner Humpty Dumpty to investigate the kidnapping of sheep. Dumpty ends up being murdered while following a lead. It just takes off from there with the puns and humor and does not stop. Your giggling won’t stop either.
The next three volumes begin a story arch called, The Long Ever After, with each book as a chapter of the story. And with chapter titles of The Seven Deadly Sins, The Glass Slipper, and The Magic Mirror, the reader is thrown into a conspiracy of murder, mystery and betrayal with, of course, the surprise ending.
Cammuso started his books as independents but successfully is now distributed through Scholastic Inc. which means that anyone can now purchase them through a big named book retailer such as Barnes and Noble or Borders. Your local comic book store probably stocks them as well. He has even signed a deal with them for a new series slated for release in the near future. But for now, if you want the Max Hamm series in a complete volume or individually separate and signed, visit his online store at: www.cammuso.com
Managing Editor of THE PAPER
With assistance by Captain Dusty Harmony
While covering National Fire prevention week, I was able to shake hands with Smokey Bear (there is no “the” in his real name), the famous mascot of the National Forest Service. He took a moment to stop by the Dwight Fire Department, Oct. 9.
Captain Dusty Harmony was with me, and later looked up the legend of Smokey online as follows:
Smokey Bear was born on August 9, 1944, when the USDA Forest Service and the Ad Council agreed that a fictional bear named Smokey would be their symbol for forest fire prevention.
Artist Albert Staehle was asked to paint the first poster of Smokey Bear. It showed Smokey pouring a bucket of water on a campfire and saying “Care will prevent 9 out of 10 fires.”
Smokey Bear soon became very popular, and his image appeared on a lot of forest fire prevention materials. In 1947 his slogan became the familiar “Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires!”, which was later updated to be “Only YOU Can Prevent Wildfires!”
Then in the spring of 1950, in the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico, a young bear cub found himself caught in a burning forest. He climbed a tree to survive, but he was still badly burned.
The firefighters who retrieved him were so moved by his bravery, they named him Smokey.
News about this real bear named Smokey spread across the nation, and he was soon given a new home at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
As the living symbol of Smokey Bear, he played an important role in spreading messages of wildfire prevention and forest conservation.
Smokey died in 1976 and was returned to Capitan, New Mexico, where he is buried at the State Historical Park, now called Smokey Bear Historical Park.
Smokey is kind of my personal hero, too. As a small child, I had an illustrated story book about the “real” bear found in the forest fire. It’s nice to meet your heroes in person.
It’s Official! Tears of the Prophets by Anthony Feinman will be released November 18, 2016. So, would you like to have a FREE, SIGNED copy? Sure you would! So, from now until November 18, 2016, in order to win your FREE COPY (plus maybe some other goodies as well) become a FAN of Ink and Feathers Comics by “LIKING” the INK & FEATHERS COMICS FACEBOOK PAGE. Then leave a comment on the image your see in this post (the one above) that was posted on 10/16/16. Tell us why you like comic books and why do you keep on reading. THAT’S IT! On November 18th, 2016, we will post the winner and contact them for their mailing address. SIMPLE, HUH?
New and current fans are all welcome to participate. One copy will be awarded to ONE LUCKY WINNER!
The last publication we have seen from Ink and Feathers Comics was back in mid 2014. Anthony is currently working on finally publishing his long awaited prequel to the Terry Freedom saga, Tears of the Prophets. We got a chance to speak briefly with this allusive cartoonist and ask him why it has taken him so long to release this story and will he be working on anything new in the future?
IF Comics: How’s it going?
Anthony: Ugh. I still exist.
IF Comics: (laughs) So, tell us why now? What made you decide to finally release a print/ebook version of this story?
Anthony: Well, back in 2008, I decided to try to go back to school to finish my degree. Unfortunately, plans changed and I was only able to study for a year. Just this year (2016) I looked into returning to my studies. I applied to a school that had a awesome program that really appealed to me. I got accepted and was offered a scholarship but only if I returned as a full time student. Unfortunately, where I am financially, it would not work. So that was nixed. From all my time at SAIC and the time since I left in 2009, I feel that with my experience freelancing and doing other things has given me enough background to move on. I have enough knowledge that I really don’t need to have a BA degree to back me up. I’ve put together enough of my own books and other companies publications that I can do this. I just need to suck it up and get the work done.
IF Comics: I understand that this story has been done for quite some time. Why was it never printed?
Anthony: I don’t think I or the story were ready. I did a video slide show and released it through YouTube shortly after I finished it. However, one of things I was struggling with was how to put the words with the images. Picture you have a book open in your hands. I had always envisioned the text totally on the left page and the full image on the right page.
IF Comics: So, kind of like a storybook design?
Anthony: Yes. The problem is that some of the text that was paired with the images may have only a couple lines of text. Other images had close to a full page of text. If I overlapped the text over some of the more “busier” images, I would lose a lot of “hidden messages”. When I was at SAIC, I had a final project showing with the class and brought out this work to be critiqued. Most of the students didn’t have too much in the way of advice except that I should try to letter the story via hand. They didn’t really help at all but liked the story and the images. In fact, during that critique is where I debuted the next short part. The last eight pages of this story are truly the images that no one has ever seen. Except for those students.
If Comics: Can we include an image from this “lost” part of your never before seen story with this article?
Anthony: No. (laughs) These past few months, I have re-examined the work again and decided that the best thing to do was shrink the image heavy images and place the text either above or underneath on the page. I didn’t want to lose the imagery. (Example can be seen to the right) A lot of the story/text is kind of vague and the imagery will make a lot more sense once The B.U.C.K.S Stops Here (the last and final Terry Freedom story) starts to be published and released. It has been important to me that each image can be seen in it’s entirety.
If Comics: By the way, when will be start seeing that story, The B.U.C.K.S. Starts Here, come out? It was advertised in Escape in a Dirigible back in 2003.
Anthony: (laughs) Yeah, I have no idea. I started drawing it 2 years ago. I have the outline drafted but still have not found how the story will be concluded. It’s “locked up here inside” as some would say (points to his head). As I have been re-examining this work (Tears), I have been pondering the idea of releasing an issue at a time. The last story is going to be quite involved and complex as it deals with time travel. It (multiple issues released periodically) may satisfy the fans who have been waiting for almost two decades (The Crystal Skull Files was published in 1997) to see what happens afterwards.
If Comics: So, ultimately, what is this story about?
Anthony: Well, it’s a short story that actually takes place at the end of The Crystal Skull Files. There is a scene where Terry Freedom and the gang are flying after a rocket that is heading towards the moon to destroy it. The plane has reached an altitude that causes all the occupants to pass out from lack of oxygen except for the robot, Rustbucket. He is left alone with the Crystal Skull that is being used to send its audio sonics to destroy the rogue rocket. Before the Skull expels its last sonic song, it reveals to Rustbucket its long history on planet Earth. The whole story takes the skull two seconds to impart its story to Ruckbucket.
If Comics: So we get to find out where the Crystal Skull comes from?
Anthony: Yes, plus you will learn that it has a history with Freedom and his family. And if you look close, you may discover a few other things. However, you have to look REALLY close as everything I added is probably really subtle. Except to me. I see it all but I wrote and illustrated it (laughs). The best hints I can give are to re-read The Mask Conspiracy and The Crystal Skull Files. You’ll see a lot of familiar “images” from those two books show up in this prequel.
If Comics: So, when will we finally be able to read this thing. Huh? Huh? Sounds pretty interesting…
Anthony: I’m hoping soon. I’m almost finished with designing the E-book version and I’m still debating as to if I should do a print version. But the more I think about, I should release both version simultaneously like a real publisher should.
IF Comics: Sooooooo, next month?
Anthony: (laughs) Hopefully before Christmas! I would like to design a FREE E-book version for Legend of Brigadier General Schaumburg Harmony and finally digitize The Mask Conspiracy and The Crystal Skull Files for Amazon download. Eventually Escape in a Dirigible as well. However, I need to do one thing at a time as everything just listed already seems daunting as I say it. I would also like to modernize Ink and Feathers Comics website (IFCOMICS) at some point as well. Its a bit outdated. I do all this in my spare time when I’m not playing with my kitty, G3 (Goober the Third for short), and hanging with my girlfriend catching awesome TV shows and new movies.
If Comics: Well, thanks for taking time today to speak with us today and keep drawing. We want to see more stuff asap!
Anthony: No problem.
Ink and Feathers Comics will post an update as soon as Anthony lets us know when the books will be available for pre-order and download. Previous books, The Mask Conspiracy,The Crystal Skull Files, and Escape in a Dirigible are available for order through Amazon.com
A few short weeks ago, IF Comics released Anthony and Myke’s The Magic Press and Other Critter Stories as a e-book digital download exclusively on Amazon.com. (Check it out here.) It did pretty well in sales it’s first week BUT that was not enough for our fans. They wanted a PRINT edition! It’s nice to know that there are still readers and book collectors out there that like to have their literature still tangible!
So in response to Facebook fan outcry, Anthony started working on re-paginating a print edition for sale. After a couple weeks, he finally completed the task!
The Magic Press is immediately available for order for $5.99 plus shipping and handling from CreateSpace.com (Click here to order.) Roughly 5-7 days from the date of this blog release, it will also be available through retail outlets such as Amazon.com as well as ANY book store retailer through special order. A few days after that, it will be available overseas in Europe through Create Space’s distribution.
“This edition is only slightly different from the eBook edition” says Anthony. “We (Ink and Feathers Comics) have always done a print edition of a book. It’s only been the last half year that we just started digitizing our inventory for digital distribution. As I am a starving artist, I thought I would give a “ebook only” release for The Magic Press. I keep forgetting that a lot of our fan base are still traditionalists and like to have tangible books. I did intend to print a print edition later this year (late this Spring). However, our fans just couldn’t wait. IF Comics is not a traditional publisher so we can do whatever we want in terms of printing or deadlines. Plus, I’m huge on customer service and aims to please.”
This “dead tree” version also sports two extra things not available in the eBook edition. One, a back over with a full colored version of one of THE CRITTERS strips done by Anthony (which can be see from the image above) and two, an extra Halloween image with Millennium Bear (Leni) telling the viewing audience that she taught the monster from the Blue Lagoon to rise out of a lake with a Halloween greeting.
“A little extra treat for those that wanted a “real” book and a small thanks for your support”, comments Anthony.
The print edition of The Magic Press is an 6×9, 48 paged full colored cover with black and white interiors. It is priced at $5.99 not including shipping and handling.
If any fans would like to PRE-ORDER a SIGNED copy directly from Ink and Feathers Comics, CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW!
The price for each copy is $5.99 and shipping is only $5.50 for 1-20 copies.
That’s right! A flat shipping for single or multiple copies!
(Up to twenty. Any more, please contact us first for accurate price quote. Price is for Domestic USA orders only. International order, please contact us directly via private messaging on our FACEBOOK page or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org for price quote for shipping/handling.)
As this is a new publication, expect your copy(s) to be sent out in about two weeks. We will notify your by email when they are being sent out complete with tracking information. We will also include a WHOLE bunch of SWAG at no extra cost! SWEET DEAL, HUH?!